I had my color touched up recently, THANK GOD! And as much as I’ve been around salons and grew up with a hair stylists for a mom, I learned something I didn’t know. Maybe I knew it but never really thought about it. But that woman or man, standing behind your chair with their hands in your hair? YOU are as much a part of their lives as they are a part of yours.

While Crickett, my hair stylist, therapist, and friend was drying my hair, she leaned down and suggested, “Now there’s something you should write about.”

I looked to see an average couple of average age sitting in the reception area, looking at magazines and wondered what in the world she was talking about. Were they local celebrities? Fugitives? Swingers? All of which would set tongues wagging in a small town.

Even with my hair flying all around my face, Crickett saw my puzzlement and said, “they’re here to say goodbye.” Turns out she’d cut and “fixed” their hair and their children’s hair for seventeen years. She’d seen them through good times and rock hard times, proms for their children and deaths of their loved ones. In short she’d been a part of their lives and they’d been a part of hers. And they were moving and had come to say goodbye.

This couple got the connection that exists, whether you know it or not, between you and your hair stylists. They aren’t just magicians. They are family. The worst thing, according to Crickett and I suspect most hair warriors is when people move away without saying goodbye. Without saying, I’m going to be fine. Without saying thank you and letting that person who has fussed over you and your hair hug your neck.

So now you know about the woman or the man in the mirror who loves your hair and cares about you. And when you have to leave, honor them with a proper goodbye.

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About Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. Kim is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.
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  1. That sounds so wonderful, Kim, and something I pretty much miss out on. I’ve done my own hair most of my life and tend to hunt out the ten dollar haircuts. But as I get older my hair gets harder to manage so maybe that kind of relationship is in my future. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Crickett Pfirman says:

    I am soo blessed! Kim you are truly amazing! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Thank you for being part of my life. And yes you are right… you all do become our family. I am honored that you let me into your life. Thank you for loving me , for I love you! I am soooo proud of you!!!

    • Kim Boykin says:

      Thanks Crickett. If you would share this with the other stylists and hopeful they’ll pass it on to friends, that would be great! Have a great weekend.
      Lucky to have you!

  3. My grandmother owned a salon that was attached to our home in a small town in Ohio. I lived in that house and grew up in everybody’s business. Everyone knew her, but she really knew everyone. She could tell when they were dieting and when they were depressed. She was the counselor, dietitian, stylist, friend, marriage counselor all rolled into one. Even after she passed in 1997, people will tell me about their mother going to her for the prom, or a wedding, or a funeral. Nice article, thank you.

    • Kim Boykin says:

      That was so beautiful. I know you must miss her. My book talks about hair stylist being “called” that caring for a woman’s hair is a higher calling. I believe your grandmother was not only called, she blessed you and a lot of people. THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING!

  4. What a great post and yes, very true. My hairdresser is a very important part of my life and therefore a good friend.

  5. Debbie Epling says:

    Kim, this is so true. You do, or at least I do, establish a connection with your hair stylist. The girl I used before I moved over here, I was a part of her life and visa versa. And I definetly remember your mom cutting my hair and my moms hair (I still have the pictures of my 10th grade class picture where your mom did my hair –but NOT gonna share!!!)…and I remember sitting in the shop while the “ladies” gossiped about what was going on around town…she was most definetly family!!! Proud of you “cuz”…LOL….

    • Kim Boykin says:

      Thanks, Debbie. I don’t think mom realized how valuable her work was on so many levels at the time. But it tickles her to hear these comments. AND yesterday, she was sporting a new haircut. I swear, even at 81, it made her look 15 years younger. And guess who cut it? She did! She doesn’t do that often but she’s still got it!

  6. Claire Iannini says:

    Kim – How in heavens name have I not been connected to your website?! LOVE the story, and especially LOVE the connections that you point out – that we all make in life – but don’t always take the time to look at them for what they truly are – family members that we add and become attached to – and miss for whatever reasons when and if we have to leave them behind! LOVE all these comments – and LOVE my hairdresser!!

    • Thanks, Claire for the kind words. As always you’re just about the most supportive writer I know. Thanks for that too!

  7. One of the hardest things about moving from Ft Lauderdale to Charleston was leaving my hair stylist of ten years! Not only did I love the way he styled my hair, he’d become my friend and confidant. We even bought season tickets to the ballet together! We’re in touch, and I’m happy about that. And even further back is my stylist of twenty years ago from Milwaukee! We talk at least 3 or 4 times a year…still! Just to catch up. Can’t wait for your book, Kim. Because there is a whole lot of wisdom in the hair connection!

  8. I JUST found out about this book (and you) tonight. Guess what I am doing? Killing time (as if I really need an excuse to look up books) while my henna soaks in. I have a mess of herbs, a plastic bag, and a towel on my head. My (friend!) stylist wanted to streak it for me with my natural hair color but I have been a bit hard on it with regular perms (which bleaches the dark brown and creates auburn for me). Michelle cannot use henna for some reason … laws I guess. (common sense? who needs it?)
    Anyway. I thought it was funny that I discovered THE WISDOM OF HAIR while I am self treating.
    I am looking forward to reading TWOH in March!
    In case you were wondering, Michelle does have an emergency number.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I can’t imagine why henna can’t be used in salons, but it’s good to know Michelle’s on call much like a doctor should you have a hair emergency.
      Hope your have a fabulous hair day!

Your comments welcomed!